Bheeshma elaborates on why he deliberately left Karna out of the list of great warriors! 'Your friend Karna, who is addicted to war, incites you to fight, is an inferior person. He is not even a complete warrior and definitely not one of the great warriors! He has lost his natural protection of Kavacha and Kundala. (I missed this episode!). Cursed by Parusharama, he lacks power to use weapons. Due to this curse he is weak and helpless and in my opinion he is just a half -warrior अर्धरथ and is no match to Arjuna in a war and will not return alive.' Drona agrees with Bheeshma and says that Karna is arrogant, a coward in war and also lacking in judgement.
These comments provoke Karna and his eyes enlarged in anger, confronts Bheeshma,' Pithamaha, you are speaking against me for no fault of mine. I am tolerating this because of Duryodhana. You consider me weak and contemptible and I think even you are a half- warrior. Only such, will behave in this manner, criticise one amongst equals and bring a division in them. The greatness of a khsatriya is not due his age, grey hair, wealth or his relatives. A khsatriya is respected for his strength, a brahmin for his ability to cast spells, a vaishya for his wealth and sudra for his age. With no real knowledge, mostly out of arrogance, anger and jealousy, you have mindlessly decided who is a great warrior and who is not!
Karna turns towards Duryodhana,' Suyodhana, think carefully! Give up this offensive Bheeshma who will bring you only misfortune. Unity, once broken in the army, is not easy to repair. Bheeshma with his limited knowledge of warfare will not be able to stop the pandavas. I will stop them with my arrows. Pandavas unable to face me will scatter like cattle on sighting a tiger. How can Bheeshma, senile and feeble minded, meet the demands of a complex war? But, he thinks there is none equal to him! It is true that we should listen to elders, but not someone who is so old, that he is in his second childhood. I am sure I can defeat the pandavas single-handed, but the credit will go to Bheeshma as the commander in chief and not to the soldier! Hence, I will not fight till this Gangeya is alive. Once he is dead, I will fight with all the great warriors!'
Bheeshma reacts to the harsh, stinging words from Karna and speaks of his many acts of valor and challenges Karna to fight Arjuna and come back alive. Duryodhana steps in and pacifies them 'Grandfather look at me and think of my welfare! A lot of work is required to be done and we have great expectations from both of you and the war begins tomorrow!'
Mollified, Bheeshma promises to fight all the great warriors and stop them. But he has some conditions, 'I will not fight Shikandi as he was born as a woman first and I have taken a vow not to kill women since the time I relinquished my kingdom for the sake of my father. And I will not kill Pandavas!'